Many confronted by “MissRepresentation” of women

“An expert panel and a packed audience were confronted by the messages in the highly acclaimed documentary and feature film, MissRepresentation, which received its Australian premiere last Thursday night at ACMI in Melbourne” said Dr Karen Morley, Co-founder of Gender Worx.

The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions. This has contributed to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America.

Dr Karen Morley said: “In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader.

“We place hope in our younger generations of women moving more swiftly and easily into leadership roles, yet the power of the media’s portrayal continues to hold back young women’s aspirations to lead,” she said.

Nicholas Barnett, Executive Chair of Insync Surveys and co-founder of Gender Worx said: “Our expert panel comprising Michael Ullmer, former Deputy CEO of NAB, Professor Amanda Sinclair, Melbourne Business School and Janet Matton, Vice President – Operations, IBM Australia and New Zealand, all spoke of how they were profoundly moved by the film’s message. They noted that the leadership playing field in most organisations has been tilted in favour of men for decades and they called for personal and organisational leadership to tilt the playing field in favour of women.”

Michael Ullmer said: “It is incumbent on every leader to draw attention to unacceptable portrayals of women. We have to stand by our values and call attention to organisational practices that trivialise or sexualise women.”

Nicholas Barnett said: “We brought this film to Australia to shine a bright light on a glaring reality we live every day with but fail to see. It is important for people to be challenged about how the disparaging portyal and regular trivialisation of women impacts, often unconsciously, society’s acceptance of women as leaders. The film is part of the Gender Worx’ Leading Beyond Bias series which includes training of executives on unconscious bias.”

“Business leaders who are prepared to have their biases challenged should attend the Sydney premiere of the film and an expert panel discussion in Sydney at 4.00pm on 5 December at the New Law Theatre 101, Camperdown Campus, The University of Sydney”, he said. The expert panel in Sydney includes Amanda Wilson, Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald, Katie Lahey, Managing Director Australasia, Korn/Ferry, Kathryn Fagg, LinFox and Nicholas Barnett, co-founder, Gender Worx. You can register for the event at AmCham.

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